more discoveries on Cook Hill

Discussions and Trip Reports for off-trail adventures and rediscovering lost trails
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Chip Down
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Joined: November 8th, 2014, 8:41 pm

more discoveries on Cook Hill

Post by Chip Down » January 20th, 2018, 10:08 pm

I wanted to go back to Cook Hill and ascend via the standard (on trail) route this time. I was expecting awful weather, so this seemed like a fast easy hike.

The weather started out pretty decent, and I was immediately enticed offtrail, through some steep jumbled ridges and open forest to the east of the trail, until I reached a spot that looked consistent with the forest above the 2000' steep meadow. Thinking I might be close to trail, I wandered around slowly, carefully looking for anything that looked unnatural; a bit of flagging, a saw cut log, whatever. In the distance, saw what looked like a rock embedded in a tree. Closer, I realized it was a bucket. I think I've read about that. Found the trail, and followed it down to the 2000' top of the meadow, just for verification.

Then traversed west, rising when clearings made it easy. This went well. Nice scenery. By linking ridges and clearings and game trails, I pretty much managed to avoid brush, and got to the bottom/east end of the long narrow summit meadow.

Up to the top, then down to the abandoned ridgecrest road that took me to the radio towers and utility roads and power lines. This was where I was planning a long lunch break if the weather wasn't too bad. It was snowing sideways, and too cold to be gloveless, so I didn't stay long.

Looped down on a road that took me to the standard route. I didn't know where the road went, but I figured the worst possible outcome would be a dead end, forcing me to bushwhack out. It all worked out fine though.
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A broad brush-free boulder-strewn ridge. Off-trail hiking at its finest.
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The nicest viewpoint of the day.
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Fun scrambling above Drano Lake.
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Another look at Drano Lake.
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The character of the hike radically changed very quickly in the last couple hundred feet below the summit.
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Expecting bad weather, I kept things simple and light today.
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Abandoned road. I suppose the moss is because the flat compacted road holds more moisture than the surroundings.
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